Critics Consensus: Sad, funny, and wise in equal measure, Archipelago finds writer-director Joanna Hogg in remarkably strong, confident form.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
ARCHIPELAGO is a quietly devastating portrayal of a family in emotional crisis. Edward (Tom Hiddleston) is preparing to leave for a year of voluntary service in Africa. His mother Patricia (Kate Fahy) and his sister Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) decide to gather the family together, on a remote island, as a farewell trip to say goodbye to Edward. Hired cook Rose (Amy Lloyd) and painting teacher Christopher (Christopher Baker), though bought in to help, only serve to bring the family's anxieties into sharper focus. When Edward's father is delayed, the unspoken forces of absence and loss bring the family's buried anger and repressed tension to the surface. (C) Kino … More
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Critic Reviews for Archipelago
This is a beautifully distilled and literally still work that lingers in the mind long after its conclusion.
'Archipelago' confirms Hogg as a daring and mischievous artist, and a major British talent whose next move will be intriguing.
As much as a downbeat comedy of bourgeois mores, Archipelago is a sort of claustrophobic horror story, set in a place of no easy escape.
A car-crash compelling, painfully comic distillation of modern British middle class mores.
Hogg, though a fine film-maker, doesn't always prevent us feeling that these people are not worth worrying about.
Is art the only way for the privileged to deal with their boredom and discontent? Hogg seems to be suggesting so.
Hogg is inviting us to dismiss these people as fundamentally different to ourselves. But sat in a dark auditorium, we are merely laughing at each other.
It's a difficult watch and a difficult sell, but this is quietly outstanding.
Ed Rutherford's photography is superb, but this is a pale imitation of an Ingmar Bergman chamber drama.
Fascinating and confident film-making style of lengthy character improvisation ... a very slow burner that gives the opportunity to 'people watch' on screen.
British writer/director Joanna Hogg follows her debut Unrelated with another insightful, impressively acted study of upper-middle-class family friction.
Joanna Hogg's follow-up to her acclaimed 2007 debut Unrelated is an impressively staged and impressively understated drama.
Audience Reviews for Archipelago
This is definitely something more reserved for the 'higher-thinkers' or 'artists' amongst us. I appreciate what the director intended to do and what she has done, however for me personally, it didn't make a great film. I didn't really like any of the characters too much (except Edward and Rose) and when, towards the end of the film, I see a close up of one of the main characters and don't recognize her, there's a problem. I presume the constant static wide and long shots that capture the whole scene rather than cutting between different shots is supposed to represent some sort of fly on the wall Italian neorealism but I just didn't like it. At times it as great and really fueled the tension and awkwardness of what was happening, but at other times I almost screamed for closer shots. Not something I'd watch or even mention again.More
Beautifully filmed and naturally acted, the simmering tensions which give way to arguments often heard but not seen feel real and incisive. But it is hard to care too much about these characters' thoughts, feelings and motivations when they are clearly so STAGGERINGLY WEALTHY that they can afford a getaway to the very expensive Isles of Scilly *AND* employ a full time cook/maid/cleaner and pursue activities such as painting, picnics, dining at expensive restaurants and "gap years" in Africa. But for all that there's genuine visual style, superb performances and the conjuring of mood that at times often feels mysterious.More
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